Choosing the right Air Compressor
There are many different components of the compressed air system to consider, ACL can help you make that decision and below we outline the components and the reasons for their selection, furthermore the best method to determine the correct size is a compressed air audit, also known as data logging.
What size Compressor do I need?
When choosing the right type of compressor the following questions are a helpful starting point
- What is the application
- How much flow does my facility/workshop use
- Is there an existing compressor? Does this machine cope with your demand
- What pressure is needed within the facility
- Do I need clean/dry air (use of dryer and filters)
- How many hours per year does my compressor operate, How many shifts do I run per day
- Is there fluctuation in flow or pressure demand between shifts
- Are there any plans for future expansion
The most common type of compressor within small workshops and industry are rotary screw air compressors that are available in fixed and variable speed
Do you need an air receiver?
Most Compressed air system designs need an air receiver, the capacity size of this receiver must be calculated to ensure the good, efficient, running of your proposed system
Is air treatment required?
Moisture creation in a compressor is unavoidable, but if properly treated, it will prevent damage to pneumatic machinery, air tools, valves and any other components, as well as avoid possible contamination of the end products.
Selecting the proper dryer to treat wet compressed air is largely dependent on the specific requirements and moisture tolerance levels of the machines that utilize compressed air. Most industrial and manufacturing facilities can achieve such requirements with a refrigerated air dryer, while spray paint operations, laboratories and certain printing and pneumatic tool users require a desiccant dryer to supply critically dry air.
The downstream piping is also important and the sizing calculated to ensure the distribution of the required flow to the end use without pressure drops
Compressed Air Energy Audit
The correct sizing for a totally new installation of compressed air equipment is dependent on the correct information from the customer or on larger projects the consultant, the discussion points already covered in this document are a good start and will provide a level of accuracy when sizing.
If there is existing compressors then installing our portable Atlas Copco data loggers will assist with extreme accuracy for a compressed air audit. As long as we are measuring a typical week or weeks the report will confirm the exact usage for every minute of the day showing high to low production patterns, if measuring more than 1 compressor we can see the other machines assisting the compressed air usage throughout the survey and as an added bonus we can identify the amount of air leaks at times when the factory is not producing. Furthermore we can simulate the renowned Atlas Copco GA VSD+ into the program software to show energy savings on wasted kW, this can be as a stand alone machine or a machine to support multiple compressors to remove the off load wastage
Air Compressors typically consume 10-15% of a factory’s electricity, using variable speed (VSD+) air compressors, reducing the working pressure, detection of air leaks are just 3 simple ways of saving money and reducing the kW usage